A statistical defense of Brayden Schenn

As most of us here on Broad Street Hockey know, Dangler9 has been putting in some hard work at analyzing the Flyers players and systems using screen shots. And while I have liked some of the stuff he has presented, one constant theme has been criticism of Flyers forward Brayden Schenn.

A first look

Brayden Schenn is currently in his third season with the Flyers . Over the past two seasons, I contend that Schenn has performed pretty well. First, let's look at the all important even strength possession statistics, along with some important context stats.

Brayden Schenn Corsi on-ice Corsi Rel Corsi rel QoC rank Corsi rel QoT rank O-zone start%
2011-2012 2.06 -2.6 13th 6th 54.80%
2012-2013 -4.04 2.9 3rd 5h 52.80%

So his first full year in the NHL, I think it's fair to say he did alright. It's often not fair to expect much from guys in their first full year in the NHL, and being able to pull a Corsi Relative of -2.6 is in all respects not too shabby.

But last season is where I want to focus on, specifically in the growth of his game/performance. We see that Schenn started playing much harder competition in his second season with the Flyers, and yet his Corsi Rel improved to 2.9. So facing more responsibility and tougher assignments, Schenn was able to, relative to his own teammates, win the possession battle, in only his second full season.

Immediately, we are seeing some positives in Schenn's game, as well as Schenn definitely improving from year 1 to year 2.

Points, Goals, and Penalties

Now let's look at some rate stats, along with league ranks.

G/60 League rank (>= 40 games) A1/60 P/60 League rank (>= 40 games)
2011-2012 0.75 136th 0.28 1.22 269th
2012-2013 0.61 154th 0.4 1.41 163th

First looking at goal scoring, Schenn has in both years produced consitantly as a 2nd line player, given that there are 30 teams and 3 guys on each of top two lines, then 1st line = 1-90 and 2nd line = 91-180.

For points, Schenn started off slow in 2011-2012, producing at levels of a low level 3rd liner, but he improved in 2012-2013 at a lower level 2nd line forward.

So at least in his first two years, Schenn had been producing at 2nd line levels, and given that these were his first two years in the NHL, I'd say that is not too shabby for the young forward.

Now, one last quick stat, before I move onto zone entries.

Penalties taken/60 Penalties drawn/60
2011-2012 0.7 1.3
2012-2013 0.6 1.1

It's always good to see a player drawing more penalties than he takes, which is something Schenn has been able to do in both seasons as a Philadelphia Flyer.

Zone entries

Now, I'd like to take a look at the data we have for Flyers Zone entries. The % is the percentage of Schenn's entries that were with possession, while the (#) is the rank amongst forwards on the team.

2013 2011-2012 Change
BSchenn 58% (3) 54% (8) 4%

And while those numbers alone seem impressive for Schenn, they are even better when you know a little context. In 2011-2012, the team average possession % was 53%, so Schenn was just above the team average. However, in 2013, the team dropped down to 41.5%, while Schenn rose to 58%. The team took a nose dive, and yet Schenn got even better on his neutral zone entries. This is a fantastic sign.

Zone exits

And while we only have a tiny bit of data, here is Schenn's zone exit data.

Name # of exits # Failed # Successful # w/ Possession % successful % w/ Possession
BRAYDEN SCHENN 18 1 17 11 94% 61%

If you've been following my posts on Flyers zone exits so far, you'll know that Schenn has been one of the better forwards in both % of successful zone exits and % of zone exits with possession, both of which are better than average amongst forwards.


I think the above data paints a pretty clear picture. Schenn may not be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but he has been a solid player for the Flyers in the past two years, and perhaps most importantly he has shown definite improvement from year 1 to year 2.

I think this is a really good sign for the young Brayden Schenn, and I for one am still quite optimistic in Schenn developing into a valuable, second line forward.

This item was written by a member of this community and is not necessarily endorsed by <em>Broad Street Hockey</em>.

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